Short end to a long process ahead

Published 12:40 am Saturday, April 24, 2010

This week the Demopolis board of education sat face-to-face with seven candidates vying for our superintendent of education vacancy.

That’s a big job and it will require the right person.

Having sat in for each of the seven interviews, I’ve had the opportunity to get a first-hand look at some of the qualifications they bring to our system.

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Each of the candidates bring with them a unique skill set. From my vantage point, they all appear qualified in one respect or another.

I certainly do not envy the Board as they now begin to further evaluate the seven candidates, digging deeper into their qualifications and what they could potentially bring to our community.

On the flip side of that coin, we must offer them something in return. A high quality of life will play an important role in making sure our next hire is one that stays with us for many years.

Each candidate’s response as to why they wanted to live in Demopolis was interesting. They ranged from getting closer to family and returning to where their career began, to growing their career in their hometown.

Running a school system, from my perception, is a daunting task. Demopolis may only have four schools but that represents hundreds of employees and support staff, several hundred students and several million dollars. It represents having to operate within a budget that is constantly changing, either through proration or fluctuating tax revenues.

It means being an ambassador to the parents, the students and the business community.

It means knowing how to stand up and lead and, sometimes, knowing how to sit down and be led.

There’s a lot of accountability that comes along with being the superintendent of education in Demopolis. I appreciate that each of the seven candidates have an interest in educating our children, thereby improving their quality of life.

Further, I appreciate the Board’s willingness to tackle the task for making sure the right man or woman is put in place to ensure a long and bright educational future for our students for generations to come.

I look forward to reporting on their decision.

Jason Cannon is publisher of the Demopolis Times.